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What Ellen Made Me Realize About the Politics of the Autism Community


I love watching “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” And while there isn’t usually a lot of political talk on the show, lately there has been a bit more. I’m personally not a fan of politics, and so every time the subject comes up on the show, I get a bit nervous.

But the other day, Ellen’s monologue truly opened my eyes. She explained how there are different people in the world, with different opinions. She explained how she doesn’t want to hate someone because she doesn’t agree with their political party or opinion.

And that’s when I realized the autism community is just like politics. Many people judge each other based solely on the organization they support, or their opinion on what causes autism, and so many other topics. Instead of seeing individuals, many people see sides. And that’s when you can start to see the political parties of the autism community.

The problem with this is, for many people, the moment they find out what someone’s opinion is, assumptions are made about the rest of the person. You don’t like a certain organization, so you must be against anyone who does like it. Or maybe you believe in a certain type of therapy I don’t like, so I assume you obviously don’t know what’s best for the person receiving it.

As Ellen mentioned in her monologue, this kind of automatic assumption, “…is not fair. It’s how stereotypes and labels are formed.”

What if those assumptions we make aren’t really true? Imagine all of the people we would miss out on getting to know if we simply based our decision on them on their opinion of one topic.

Perhaps everyone can’t agree on the same ideas. Maybe our opinions are different from another person’s. But we shouldn’t let that stop us from getting to know each other. We don’t all have to have the same opinions. We are allowed to disagree on some things, while coming together on at least one commonality. Because don’t we all just want what we think is best for our friends or loved ones on the spectrum?

The Mighty is asking the following: Describe a scene or line from a movie, show, or song that’s stuck with you through your experience with disability, disease or mental illness. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.


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